Obama, World Leaders React to Deadly Attack in Nice

The White House released Obama's statement a few hours after a truck drove onto the sidewalk and plowed through a crowd of revelers who'd gathered to watch fireworks late Thursday

World leaders are expressing dismay, sadness and solidarity with France over the attack carried out by a man who drove truck into crowds of people celebrating France's national day in Nice, killing at least 84 people:

President Barack Obama conveyed deep condolences to the French president and said the heart of Americans are with the people of France.

Speaking at a White House reception Friday for diplomats from around the world, Obama said he reminded François Hollande in a phone call that "France is America's oldest ally, and one of the strongest. We owe our freedom to each other... and we will stand united now."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and other loved-ones of those killed," he said.

Noting that the attack occurred on Bastille Day, Obama praised "the extraordinary resilience and democratic values that have made France an inspiration to the entire world."

Secretary of State John Kerry called it a "horrendous attack in Nice. ... I was proud to stand alongside French leaders earlier today at Bastille Day celebrations in Paris, and the United States will continue to stand firmly with the French people during this time of tragedy."

Both presidential candidates also condemned the attacks, with Republican Donald Trump declaring "this is war" and Democrat Hillary Clinton vowing "we will not be intimidated."

Clinton said that "every American stands in strong solidarity with the people of France, and we say with one voice: We will not be intimidated. We will never allow terrorists to undermine the egalitarian and democratic values that underpin our very way of life."

Trump, who postponed plans to announce his vice presidential pick because of the attacks, said "this is war. If you look at it, this is war coming from all different parts. And frankly it's war and we're dealing with people without uniforms."

European Council president Donald Tusk expressed consternation that France was attacked on its national day and said the world stands united with the French people.

"It is a tragic paradox that the victims of the attack people celebrating liberty, quality and fraternity. We will stand united with the families of victims, the French people and the government in the fight against violence and hatred," Tusk said at a meeting of Asian and European leaders in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar.


Pope Francis is praying for the victims of the attack in Nice and their families. In a tweet, the pontiff wrote "I asked God to convert the hearts of the violent blinded by hate." [[386954001, C]]

In a statement, the Vatican said "we condemn in an absolute manner all manifestations of homicidal folly, hatred, terrorism and attacks against peace."

Premier Li Keqiang said "we strongly condemn terrorism of all forms. We express our condolences to the victims and we will fight all kinds of terrorism."

Foreign Minister Didier Reynders expressed dismay that France was once again the target of an apparent terrorist attack.

"We condemn such an attack, maybe a terrorist attack, but such an attack in France again," he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned what he called a mindless attack.

"I am appalled by the horrific attack in Nice. I strongly condemn such mindless acts of violence. My thoughts are with the families of deceased.

I hope the injured recover soon. India shares the pain and stands firmly with our French sisters and brothers in this hour of immense sadness," Modi said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the government and people of Pakistan were deeply saddened by the attack.

In a statement Friday he said "our hearts and prayers are with the victims of the attack and their families."

"Being the frontline state in the war against terror, Pakistan itself has suffered immensely and has seen a series of tragedies," he said.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu:

"We strongly condemn and damn the terrible terror attack that occurred in the French city of Nice. We deeply share the pain of the French people. Turkey is in full solidarity with France in the fight against terrorism. We will continue our struggle against these baseless (people) with determination. First and foremost, terrorism is the rape of humanity and universal values."

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said three Australians suffered minor injuries while fleeing the scene.

"It has shocked France, it has rocked it to its core," Bishop told reporters in the Western Australia capital of Perth. "This should have been a time of great national pride and celebration."

Bishop condemned the violence, saying it was a reminder that "no country is immune from terrorist attacks."

"We support our friends and partners in France and we join with others around the world in hoping that this will be the end of this type of horrific incident that is targeted at unarmed civilians," she said.

The ruler of oil-rich Kuwait has condemned the attack in Nice, France, saying it "runs counter to all religious teachings and humanitarian values."

The state-run Kuwait News Agency said the ruling emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, sent a cable of condolence to French President Francois Hollande over the assault.

Sheikh Sabah said Kuwait "supports all measures France might take to protect its security against the terrorist acts." The Kuwaiti Embassy in Paris also urged its citizens in France to be careful while checking to make sure none of its citizens were wounded.

Tiny Kuwait faced an Islamic State group suicide attack last year during Ramadan at a Shiite mosque which killed at least 27 people and wounded 227.

The seven sheikhdoms of the United Arab Emirates condemned the "heinous terrorist crime" that struck Nice.

In a statement Friday on the state-run WAM news agency, Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan pledged to stand with the people of France after the assault.

Sheikh Abdullah also stressed the attack "makes it imperative for everyone to work together decisively and without hesitation to counter terrorism in all its forms."

The UAE is part of the U.S.-led coalition targeting the Islamic State group and hosts American and Western military personnel involved in the fight. While its neighbors have been struck by extremis attacks, the UAE's capital of Abu Dhabi and its commercial hub of Dubai have escaped the violence.

Tiny gas-rich Qatar has condemned the "heinous" attack in Nice, France.

A statement Friday from the peninsular nation's Foreign Ministry said the assault "is contrary to all human, ethical values and religions." It said it stood in solidarity with France after the attack.

Qatar, on the Arabian Peninsula, hosts a major American military base home to U.S. Central Command and has not faced any militant attack like neighboring Saudi Arabia. That U.S. base is involved in the battle against the Islamic State group.

Japan expressed "strong shock and anger" following the truck attack in Nice.

Japanese Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Japan also aims to strengthen its counter-terrorism measurements to ensure safety of Japan.

Suga said the government with work together with public sectors to work on "border control, strengthening security at the important locations and relevant targets, trust building and furthering interaction with the communities of foreigners (in Japan)."

President Jacob Zuma said in a statement released by the Foreign Ministry that South Africa "stands firmly with the international community in condemning all forms of terrorism and stands in solidarity with the government of the Republic of France as they mourn the death of their citizens."

"South Africa shares in the grief of the French people and wishes the injured survivors a speedy recovery. Terrorism in any form and from whichever quarter cannot be condoned."

Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said he called his counterparts in France to express his condolences.

"We are very sorry and very much with the French people and the French government," he said in at a meeting of Asian and European leaders in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar.

Prime Minister Taavi Roivs condemned "a terrible attack on innocent people celebrating their national day. Today, we all stand together with the French people."

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"We're used to seeing postcards from Nice full of beauty, not images of death with a doll near a destroyed stroller. Reacting is a moral duty," Italian Premier Matteo Renzi wrote on Facebook.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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